CGS Hosts Affair to Remember

On Friday, May 15, the Center for Game Science hosted yet another legendary soirée for members of CSE. Known for the sheer grandness of scale in years past, expectations were high for this year and we are pleased to report the elegance did not disappoint.

This is a picture of one of the bread tables.Many department attendees traded in every day attire for something a bit fancier and milled after hours in the CSE Atrium to live music, enjoying a number of snacks and art on display.

Meticulously masterminded by graduate Yun-En Liu, the event boasted ten different styles of bread, seven charcuterie selections, seven cheeses and bread add-ons, fourteen tempting appetizers, three styles of tea sandwich, four varieties of canapés (with a vegan friendly option), four quickbreads designed to slow the party goer down with indecision, two types of vienoisserie, and four tarts to try.

Delicious chocolates on a plate.The sweet tooth party goer also would not leave disappointed, with an array of seven petit-fours, one delicious looking stollen, eight quickbreads, six varieties of baked goods, six tart types, four cakes, and a staggering forty-four confections. A half dozen artfully mixed beverages were available to attendees over 21. View the full menu courtesy of CSE News.

For those eyeing the task of organizing for next year, we are pleased to mention that a large number of people pitched in to make all these delicious treats possible, and we also want to thank them for those efforts.

Live music being played on a keyboard by a dapper clad gentleman.

A partial list of contributors to this affair to remember:


  • Marianne Lee
  • Katie Kuksenok
  • Igor Mordatch
  • Yun-En Liu
  • Barbara Krug


  • Kira Goldner
  • Christopher Lin
  • Eric Mullen
  • Edward Zhang
  • Robert Duisberg
  • Lilian de Greef
  • Steve Tanimoto
  • Jeffrey Snyder

Our graduating master event planner Yun-En Liu also provided this parting advice to future planners, “My main advice is to figure out what people want to do, then point everyone in the same direction and fire. Bonus points if you know people who are willing to organize things to reduce the mental load on yourself – the planning can consume a lot of resources if you’re not careful.”

Happy graduation to the upcoming graduates of CSE, and we hope everyone in attendance at this little casual party had a great time. You can see an assortment of the party pictures in the Center for Game Science-TGIF album on Facebook, with more being added as we receive them.

K-12 Story Problem End Date Extended!

cgsOur schools sent the message, and we got it loud and clear! April and May are busy times for testing, so why not give everyone more time to participate in the challenge?

Today, we’re pleased to announce an extension to our end date – sign up and start the Challenge as early as April 27 (next week!), and go at your own pace until June 5, 2015, when we close up our leaderboards for the 2014-15 school year.

With our new date, we’ll be adjusting our goals and shaking things up a bit. With even more time, we can’t wait to see what the students of Washington state can accomplish together.
Visit the site!
Check out all our videos
Watch the main K-12 Story Challenge Video
Learn more about the Common Core Problem Types
Sign up now!

CGS on the Go!

cgsIt’s spring, which means we’re taking time away from our computers (briefly) to head to various events around the region!

Catch CGS developers at the following events:

April 22: Bennett Elementary Science Night (Bellevue) – come talk to us about Foldit, Nanocrafter, Center for Game Science projects, and most importantly our upcoming K-12 Story Problem Challenge starting April 27.

April 24 and 25: We’re so excited to be participating in Engineering Discovery Days, so look for us in the CSE building atrium. Stop by both days and grab an “I love Algebra” sticker, play our games, and ask us all the questions on your mind about blending together quality gaming and academics.

May 9: A few brave developers and Foldit team members are headed north to the Shoreline STEM festival.

We can’t wait to meet all of you!

Can Washington Schools Solve Over 250,000 Story Problems In One Week?


For immediate release:

The Center for Game Science at the University of Washington is pleased to invite all K-12 classrooms around Washington state to participate in this year’s “K-12 Story Problem Challenge”, a story-problem-based Algebra Challenge. During the week of April 27 – May 1, participating K-12 classrooms will be challenged to solve over 250,000 story problems collectively by playing new math learning game Riddle Books, which teaches Common Core-aligned pre-algebra concepts via story problems in a friendly game-based environment. All grades and all levels are invited to participate – the challenge is designed to enable any learner to solve story problems at their grade level and beyond. In the K-12 Story Problem Challenge, “If you can read it, you can solve it!” Signups are currently available for classrooms by visiting our site.

Participation is completely free, and the game will work on any recent web browser. Any class with access to a PC, Mac, or Chromebook can join the challenge.

Riddle Books, created by the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, presents story problems with fun fantasy-based themes. It aims to develop learners’ understanding of Common Core concepts with a focus on developing conceptual understanding through visual models. It uses story problems to gradually introduce the player to the notion of equations. The game starts off with the player manipulating pictures and dealing with relationships they can intuitively understand and enables students to solve story problems regardless of their skill level. The challenge will also feature an innovative, free Teacher Copilot that allows teachers to view real-time student gameplay data and helps to remove key misconceptions at the group and individual level.

“Young students have a great time puzzling through these modeling story problems and turning them into equations,” said Mike Taylor, Center for Game Science Curriculum Development Specialist. “Plus, the unique stories keep them coming back for more.”

The K-12 Story Problem Challenge provides an opportunity to use the state-of-the-art tools from the Center for Game Science, featuring immediate feedback, differentiated learning paths, and active involvement through experiential and discovery learning. The Center for Game Science at the University of Washington is a leader in research-based adaptive learning through games.